Nourrir le quartier, nourrir la ville

Exhibition —
  • May 18th, 2017 to February 4th, 2018

Exhibition from May 18, 2017 to February 4, 2018

 

Do your grocery shopping and retrace 200 years of food in Montreal! Explore the places that have marked life in the neighbourhood, like public markets, small grocery stores and the first grocery chains.

Follow the evolution of products through different eras. Also, see the beginnings of the food processing industry, which develops in response to a basic need: to feed the neighbourhood and feed the city.

It is an occasion to reflect on contemporary issues and to take note of grassroots initiatives making their mark on a modern city.

 

Going Grocery Shopping

<b>St.James Market, built in 1872, corner Ontario and Amherst. circa 1910.</b> Archives de la Ville de Montréal
St.James Market, built in 1872, corner Ontario and Amherst. circa 1910.
Archives de la Ville de Montréal

People have been going grocery shopping for generations. It is a custom that dates back to a time when fresh produce was sold in markets, while basic staples and processed foods were found on the shelves of small grocery stores. Over time, independent grocery stores multiply and offer a broader range of products to their customers.

As early as the 1920s, the appearance of grocery chains like Dominion Stores and Steinberg provides major competition. The supermarket takes shape, attracting consumers with its promise of finding everything under one roof. A series of old photographs will transport you back to the heart of these bustling locations.

 

<b>La Familiale, Notre-Dame East Street, 1938.</b> Photo : Conrad Poirier, Fonds Conrad Poirier, BAnQ Vieux-Montréal, Bibliothèque et Archives nationale du Québec
La Familiale, Notre-Dame East Street, 1938.
Photo : Conrad Poirier, Fonds Conrad Poirier, BAnQ Vieux-Montréal, Bibliothèque et Archives nationale du Québec
<b>Dominion Stores, circa 1960</b> Archives Courchesne, Larose Limitée
Dominion Stores, circa 1960
Archives Courchesne, Larose Limitée

 

 

A lot of products

<b>Cold-storage warehouse in the Old Port, 1927.</b> The Growth of a Great Port, Harbour Commissioners of Montreal, 1927, Écomusée du fier monde
Cold-storage warehouse in the port, 1927.
The Growth of a Great Port, Harbour Commissioners of Montreal, 1927, Écomusée du fier monde

Industrialization leads to the rise of numerous food processing factories. Among them are Molson, Viau, the Ferme Saint-Laurent, Laura Secord and Pain moderne canadien. Containers, tools, and promotional objects all serve to recall the products of another time.

Images also help to record the infrastructure required to transport and conserve food, like the immense cold-storage warehouse in the Old Port. At the heart of numerous shipping lanes and a principal national railway junction, Montreal is a lively trade hub in the second half of the 19th century. It is also a chance to find out about the role of the wholesale importer, an actor at the centre of an international network.

 

Finally – and more recently – various initiatives take root in the city: collective kitchens, community greenhouses and gardens, mobile markets…

 

<b>Soup at the Asile de la Providence, corner Sainte-Catherine and Saint-Hubert, circa 1930.</b> Archives Providence Montréal
Soup at the Asile de la Providence, corner Sainte-Catherine and Saint-Hubert, circa 1930.
Archives Providence Montréal

 

 Top:
Extract: Épicerie Chapdelaine & frères, Saint-Eusèbe de Verceil, corner Fullum and Ontario, circa 1920. Photo: Edgar Gariepy, Félix Barrière Collection, BAnQ Vieux-Montréal, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec

 

 

This project is part of the application of the Plan culturel numérique du Québec.

It benefited from the financial support of the Entente sur le développement culturel de Montréal between the City of Montréal and the Government of Quebec, and from the support of the ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec.